Category: Oceania

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (2)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (2)

In retrospect, I thought about one thing, namely the high tuition fees (around 5000 €!) And what is offered in return. The university is modern, the lectures and the lecturers (at least those of my courses) were well organized, committed and the courses were mostly interesting… but, um, that was it somehow? No food in the cafeteria (or at least discounts), no semester ticket that includes transport to the university (so pay everything yourself), no fitness studio or other sporting activity for free (ok, which German university already offers this?) and no books for the lectures (from 100 $ upwards per book very expensive; but at least good Powerpoint Presi’s of the lecturers and links that refer to the required subject content for free, with which one could prepare well).

the question: why so blatantly high tuition fees? Not that I regret my stay in Australia or at Griffith University, on the contrary… it was a really cool experience, but if you think of coming to Australia, just travel and get rid of your studies at the same time: clearly nonexistent! Therefore, plan a time after the semester in which you can travel without university on your neck. Of course, there will be additional costs for you, but if you ever spend time Down Under, then ask to see a lot and by that I don’t just mean the university and Surfers Paradise. I was lucky that my girlfriend still had time to visit me at the end of my semester. We drove the entire East Coast for almost 6 weeks and were therefore able to catch up on a lot. If I would have flown right after the semester as it was originally intended, I would have been very annoyed.. but in the end it was great! In any case, think about it briefly before deciding on OZ, because otherwise – theoretically – you could have spent your semester abroad in a cheaper country with the option of using the money saved from the tuition fees for a separate trip to Australia. With 5000 euros, I would say from experience, that there is a lot of tearing! because otherwise – theoretically – you could have spent your semester abroad in a cheaper country with the option of using the money saved from the tuition fees for a separate trip to Australia. With 5000 euros, I would say from experience, that there is a lot of tearing! because otherwise – theoretically – you could have spent your semester abroad in a cheaper country with the option of using the money saved from the tuition fees for a separate trip to Australia. With 5000 euros, I would say from experience, that there is a lot of tearing!

  • See calculatorinc for more information about Australia and Oceania.

For my part, I can sum up that it was a great experience overall. You have to raise 900 to 1100 euros per month (without travel!) Depending on your lifestyle, at least in my experience. OZ and the Aussies, their English and mentality, the constant English chatter, all the experiences, experiences and self-knowledge … I would not want to miss all of this and would probably choose Australia again despite some criticisms on my part. A semester abroad like this can help you a lot. I’ve been back in Germany for almost a week now and I – and my girlfriend, who was only there for about 6 weeks – would like to fly back again. Here in Germany only the seriousness of life goes on, which seems so unnecessary and restrictive on the streets and in the vastness of Australia when the weather is always good! There’s another world out there, so take this step because you won’t regret it! Speaking of the weather: I was down under from February to August, and it was really super hot until mid-May, then it gradually got colder – that means around 15 degrees Celsius and higher in OZ during the day, up to 5 degrees at night depending on the region, but especially from surfers south to Melbourne. From Brisbane north, everything was great (25-30 degrees during the day, 15-20 degrees at night), ie camping without freezing to death. And I traveled with my girlfriend from the end of June to the beginning of August, which is what the above statements refer to. All in all it was a great climate… not too hot, not too cold!

For climate and temperatures in other times of the year you just have to google it.. you can find everything in this regard, as well as on topics such as car buying and so on, and immediately, which is why I refer to Google again. Because how was that? You don’t have to know everything… you just have to know where it is! With this in mind: Cheers and have fun in DOWN UNDER!

Internationalisation - Griffith University

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (1)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (1)

I can’t really believe that I’m in the process of writing my report on my semester abroad because it all passed so quickly… but nevertheless I’m trying to give you a little impression of what and how I do it on the Gold Coast Griffith University like this: After taking off from Hamburg and traveling for about 25 hours, I landed in Brisbane with two fellow students. We were picked up from the airport by the previously organized pick-up service – I mean that this was possible via Griffith Uni – and brought to Surfers Paradise to the “Backpackers in Paradise” hostel. Because we landed in Brisy at 6 a.m., we had to wait until 11 a.m. to get into the room. Because of our tiredness we made the mistake of sleeping shortly after noon, to be awake again briefly in the evening to eat, and then to go back to sleep. The result was absolute insomnia at 4 a.m. and muddledness for the next 1 1/2 weeks until the body had got used to the change. I mean: don’t do that! Stay awake until evening, torment yourselves somehow, and then go to regular sleep at 8:21:22 pm… comes much better. I did the same after my arrival in good old Germany and lo and behold: Garnix go! We spent the next two days getting to know Surfers Paradise a bit and finding an apartment on site as quickly as possible. The real estate agencies weren’t that much of a help to us, except for First National Real Estate on Hanlan Street. We were given a really competent and very quick apartment, which we then took. You can calculate for a two-room apartment from $ 350 per week upwards, which is quite expensive! But all employees in the office are super friendly and there for you with all concerns.. so thumbs up and a clear recommendation to be there when it comes to looking for an apartment! The Byron Bay Trip, which you can book in advance, was definitely worth the money when it comes to making first contacts, talking a lot of English and getting into first contact with exotic animals such as dolphins… everything else you should Experience it yourself, but definitely a clear recommendation to do it! We didn’t really notice the orientation week because of the Byron trip (1st tour), even though we were of course at the introductory event, where there was a lot of information and tips. In retrospect we found out that free VIP tickets were given out for the Surfers Clubs.. so interesting for those who would like to go to party more often! Regarding the university and the processes, I can only say that the campus is very manageable, but large after a short period of getting used to it. Everything is signposted where you can find what. The cafeteria has pretty expensive prices with rather poor food, I thought, but everyone has to find out for themselves. $ 8-12 per meal is standard. but everyone has to experience that for themselves.

  • See aparentingblog for more information about Australia and Oceania.

The lecture halls are large and well equipped. Sometimes the air conditioning was really exaggerated… outside mega hot and inside then so cold that you had to put on a sweater and scarf to avoid getting sick. And I’m a man and really never sick, but after a week or two I got pretty bad… spent a week in bed! So be warned! I can say so much about the transport by bus from Surfers to the university that it took at least half an hour, but mostly three quarters to an hour. At every station people got on who had topped up their Go Cards, etc., which then delayed the rapid onward journey considerably. Now and then the buses came 10-30 minutes later. Apart from that, the buses were always overcrowded. So in summary: Annoyed! Since we planned to travel anyway we decided to buy a car after 3-4 weeks in Australia and that was the best decision. You are more flexible with all the distances. The City Train, which goes straight to the university, is now ready. I don’t know whether this is faster and / or cheaper, but this means of transport may make it easier to get to the university.

The fitness studio on the campus is not the newest, but it offers everything you need and with its around $ 140 per semester it is cheaper than any other! So also a clear recommendation to pass the time between two lectures!

Speaking of lectures and courses: In Germany I was used to cramming 4-5 weeks before the exams, but in OZ I had to find out that the system there is different. During the semester there is always enough to do with ongoing quizzes, tests and essays, which made the time for traveling very difficult. I didn’t find the level particularly difficult, but the to-do list is consistently pretty full, which is why you are constantly busy. Keep this in mind and have a look at the course profile of the respective course before choosing a course because everything is there in terms of examinations, dates, submissions, essays, etc. The volume of work during the semester can be easily derived from this. So choose wisely…

Research - Griffith University

Universities in New Zealand

Universities in New Zealand

There are eight universities in New Zealand. The University of Otago was founded in 1869 as New Zealand’s first university. However, because the government preferred one university for the entire colony rather than individual provinces, it founded the University of New Zealand in 1870 and incorporated Otago as a college. In the following decades, other colleges were established that are now independent universities, for example the University of Auckland or the University of Canterbury . In 1961, the University of New Zealand was dissolved in order to better cope structurally with the increasing number of students. In this way, the colleges were given university status.

New Zealand universities put an emphasis on vocational courses early on. So-called special schools made it possible to focus on medicine or engineering . Today’s Lincoln University and Massey University grew out of special schools for agricultural sciences .

In the course of the educational reform of 1990 in the tertiary sector , all New Zealand educational institutions became more independent and competitive by being able to offer mostly equivalent qualifications. The number of students increased continuously and as a result many universities merged with the Colleges of Education and some Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics . In order to secure the financing of the universities in addition to the state funding, the tuition fees increased . Now only international students pay the full fees for a degree. It is for this reason that New Zealand universities continuously advertise this group of students. However, the university landscape is also lively and innovative. This is precisely what ensures the quality of teaching at New Zealand universities.

University status

New Zealand educational institutions have had to meet certain criteria in order to receive university status since the Education Act of 1989. First and foremost, universities offer an advanced level learning environment . The intellectual independence and innovation of students are to be promoted and not only subject-related knowledge but also practical life skills are imparted. This includes, for example, communication and analysis skills or flexible thinking. Research and teaching are intertwined at New Zealand universities and are driven by the teachers. Ultimately, the universities serve to provide knowledge and expertise and the role ofTo capture critics of New Zealand society .

In addition to the university, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and Private Training Establishments as well as Wānanga can award academic titles in undergraduate and postgraduate areas in New Zealand . However, students only receive the doctorate at universities.

Competition and alliances between New Zealand universities

In New Zealand there are no university associations like the Group of Eight in Australia or the Ivy League in the USA.

At the end of the 19th century there was strong rivalry between the individual provinces. The establishment of the University of New Zealand led to stiff competition between the subordinate colleges and special schools, especially on a financial level. The particular proximity to Great Britain as a colony was considered a prestige factor, so that the university had all written work corrected and graded there until the Second World War. In order to finally make the funding of the colleges fairer, the University Grants Committee was established in 1948. The committee distributed the funds from the state to the institutions as needed. Today the Tertiary Education Commission is responsible for the distribution of state funding to the tertiary educational institutions and advises the government on educational strategies.

In 2008, the eight New Zealand universities developed a program that aims to deepen partnerships between the business sector and universities . The universities organized events to highlight relevant areas of cooperation and to receive feedback.

Universities in New Zealand

Griffith University – Brisbane Review (2)

Griffith University – Brisbane Review (2)

I also spent a semester abroad at Griffith University on the Nathan Campus. I study English and biology on teaching in Germany and my studies writes me a stay abroad more than 3 months ago in an English speaking country. Since I had already been to Australia for 5 months in 2009 and did Work & Travel, I really wanted to go back to this great country for my stay abroad. So I started looking for a suitable university. Important criteria for me were the location in a big city, the lowest possible tuition fees, a good choice of courses and good weather. The Nathan campus at Griffith University met these criteria best, although the tuition fees are still very high at $ 8,500.

For some help with planning, I reached out to MicroEDU. The employees always helped me during the entire time before, during and after the semester abroad and, above all, made communication with the university much easier.

After deciding to go to university, the first thing I did was sit down with the responsible lecturer and choose courses from the university’s program that would fit my studies. In Australia you need to take at least three courses to be a full-time student. Fortunately, we have also found three courses that are fully credited to me in my studies. All courses consisted of a lecture and a mandatory tutorial. I personally found this structure to be very useful during my studies, as the lecture is deepened directly and any questions that arise can be clarified.

Then it went on with the official application for the university. MicroEDU sent me a list of the required documents. I then sent these documents back and MicroEDU compiled and sent the application. The acceptance came very quickly.

At the same time, I applied for a foreign student loan because it takes a long time to process (approx. 6 months). After the application in January, the confirmation came in July. Basically, I advise everyone to apply for a foreign student loan, as many who cannot receive a student loan in Germany are granted foreign student loans. In addition to the international student loan, I applied for a scholarship at promos. Promos is a program at our university, but many universities will have such a scholarship program. In the end, all applicants I know received a grant of 1050 € each. JGood money for expensive Australia.

I found my flight through I really wanted an open return flight and in the end I chose the Korean Air offer and paid € 1075. Everything went really well and on the flight home I was even given 30kg of luggage free of charge. The only negative is the inevitable overnight stay in Seoul on the return flight. However, Korean Air covers all costs (hotel, transport).

The hotel I booked even in Germany. The university’s homepage contains a list of different accommodation options. I chose a room in the International Student Villas. The complex consists of six bungalows with four rooms each, each with its own bathroom. Kitchen and living room are shared. Unfortunately, my experience has shown that you tend to live anonymously in these accommodations. That was quite a change to my flat share in Germany. However, I have heard from students from the dormitory that they often cook together there and that there is also a certain community. The dormitory on the Nathan and Mount Gravatt campuses was widely praised!

On July 15th then finally the plane went to Brisbane. I arrived on Sunday and the orientation week started on Monday. Unfortunately, the orientation week turned out to be very disappointing. There was an information event that could have been saved and the rest of the program was also rather poor. I was very annoyed about that because I could have written an exam in Germany during that time. Looking back, I would certainly have saved myself the orientation week.

The following week the events started. I took

  • ‘Shakespeare’s Plays’ with Dr Patrick Buckridge
  • ‘Language and Thought’ with Dr Andrea Schalley
  • ‘2nd Language Acquisition’ with Dr Susana Eisenchlas

All three of the lecturers were extremely nice and helpful, albeit demanding. In Australia, studying is much more involved. You hardly have to take care of things yourself here and you get a lot added. Unfortunately, I found that rather annoying. During the semester we had a lot to do due to the many assignments in the courses. Papers, essays, worksheets, summaries and so on were the order of the day. I have to admit that I was sometimes really overwhelmed with all the work and so there was a time in the semester when I sat at my desk all day and couldn’t do anything else. The exams were easier than I’m used to.). The final grade is then made up of the assignments and the exam (so you can’t do one thing so well

After the semester, I stayed 2 months to travel. I had a wonderful time in Australia, but I’m looking forward to student life in Germany again.

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Here are a few more tips:

  1. Don’t go to Nathan Campus if you don’t have to. Mount Gravatt and especially the Gold Coast campus are so much better! Maybe I didn’t like the Nathan Campus that much either, as half of the campus was a huge construction site. So it may well be that the campus is now totally beautiful. The location of the Gold Coast Campus right on the beach is unbeatable anyway. On the other hand, there are many sports facilities, such as tennis courts and a swimming pool, on the Mount Gravatt Campus.
  2. Look for accommodation on site (there are enough offers) or go to the student dormitory.
  3. It can get cold in Australia too! Take enough sweaters and jackets with you.
  4. Check out sites like for great deals on activities or the like.
  5. Buy a GoCard right away. With her you get a huge discount on the means of transport.
  6. Save enough money for Australia! Life is much more expensive than in Germany.
Griffith University – Brisbane Review (1)

Griffith University – Brisbane Review (1)

During my undergraduate studies in the summer of 2006, I quickly realized that a stay abroad is becoming more and more important for starting a career. However, since the university’s own exchange and cooperation program in the field of economics / business administration turned out to be very unattractive and was mainly limited to non-English-speaking European countries, I looked around for further opportunities to do a semester abroad. It was there that I came across the College-Contact team and arranged an on-site consultation in Muenster in August 2006.

Why Australia, why Griffith University?

It was more or less by chance that I chose Griffith University in Brisbane in the end. My internet research was primarily about finding a university in English-speaking countries that places great value on intercultural exchange and where so-called “visiting students” receive comprehensive support and do not have to go through any unusual admission procedures. Since I wanted to start my semester abroad in February 2007 and I was more attracted by the warm Australian climate in February than the harsh Canadian winter in Halifax, the choice was made. Australia !

What should be considered before departure?

There was half a year between the decision to go to Brisbane and the day I left. This period of time should be planned roughly in order to organize everything, because there is a lot to do:

1. Knowledge of English

Universities in English-speaking countries in particular require non-native speakers to provide evidence of good English skills (academic English) when applying. For this reason, you should definitely take an IELTS test or the notorious TOEFL test. If, like me, you decide to take the TOEFL test, it is advisable to take a two-week training course that prepares you specifically for the exam questions from the areas of “Writing”, “Listening”, “Speaking” and “Reading”.

2. Visa

Once you have passed the TOEFL test, you can start applying. Thankfully, College-Contact will take care of all correspondence with the partner university. If you have cleared this hurdle and received a letter of offer, you can apply online for a temporary student visa (for visiting students there is a non-award visa) via the website of the Australian immigration authority The application phase takes about 3 weeks and the visa costs A $ 430, about 290 €.

3rd flight

You should get information here as early as possible, for example from Singapore Airlines or Emirates. (Emirates also flies from Düsseldorf via Dubai). The flight to Brisbane took a total of 20 hours, but that also passed.

4. Accommodation in Brisbane

When looking for accommodation on site, you generally have 3 options:

  1. You apply for a place in one of the numerous student residences on the 5 campuses. (For more information, please contact College-Contact) In my opinion, this variant is not recommended, as it is particularly noisy in the dormitories in the evenings.
  2. You only look for accommodation when you are on site and for the first week you will be accommodated in an accommodation at Griffith University until you have found something suitable. (Recommended!). Don’t worry, you will find small apartments or rooms in Brisbane like a dime and you will quickly find something within a week.
  3. You dare to get to know Australian life from the family side and book a “homestay”. (More information on the Griffith University website)

I finally decided on the last alternative because I really wanted to find out what life is like in an Australian family. Of course you can be unlucky when you are assigned a family, but that was not the case in my case and I got on very well with her. The advantage of my host family was that I had two other students from Taiwan living in my family, so that I was able to make contacts very quickly. To take away the fear of a “bad” host family, she said that the families that would take a student are carefully selected by Griffith University through interviews and controls.

  • See animalerts for more information about Australia and Oceania.

5. Campus and course selection

With Nathan, Logan, Mount Gravatt, Southbank and Gold Coast, Griffith University has five campuses with different departments and courses of study. While the first three campuses mentioned are approx. 20 minutes away from the CBD, the Gold Coast campus is approx. 45 minutes drive outside of Brisbane directly on the Gold Coast. If you decide, as in my case, to take undergraduate (Bachelor) business courses, you can do so either on the Nathan Campus or on the Gold Coast Campus. In my case, I chose the Nathan Campus because it is closer to the city. However, those who prefer “permanent parties” and shy away from the city are better off at the Gold Coast Campus.

Regarding course selection, registration takes place via the online course directory of Griffith University, where you log in with an assigned user name and password. (More information on the university website). You have to know that the Australian universities do more than their German counterparts when it comes to IT use and equipment. But this simplifies some things a lot.

How is the study?

The study at Griffith Uni is very schooled. This means that the final grade at the end of the semester in the individual courses results from a written intermediate semester exam (multiple choice tasks), a group assignment, the regular submission of homework and of course the final exam at the end of the semester (2nd Hourly)

But even that can be done, because the Australian students, in contrast to us German students, take a maximum of 4 courses per semester, so that the workload is the same as studying at a German university with an average of 16 SWS.

Regarding the level of the curriculum, I found Griffith Uni perfectly fine, it was neither too difficult nor too easy. It just depends on what you are studying and whether you have already gained experience and knowledge in this area at your home university.

I found the contact with the lecturers extremely pleasant, who insisted on addressing them by their first name. You also quickly come into contact with other fellow students, because you have to do group housework, because Griffith University places great value on teamwork, which is also reflected in its sporting and cultural offerings.

How is Brisbane?

Brisbane is a fascinating city because it has the charm of a metropolis and you can still find quiet places to relax, for example in the Southbank, a promenade on the Brisbane River. Brisbane is not as hectic as Sydney, for example, but rather cozy. People who like to shop will get their money’s worth at Queen Street Mall, and nature and koala lovers in the “Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary” Park. Brisbane also offers numerous nightlife options. The only disadvantage: The local bus company “Translink” runs its buses quite irregularly and 15 minutes delays are not uncommon.

Another great advantage of Brisbane is the close connection to the Gold Coast with the places Surfers Paradise and the many leisure facilities and parks such as Dreamworld, Movieworld or Wet and Wild, a bathing park.

Other recommended excursion destinations in the area are Fraser Island, the Sunshine Coast, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island etc. For excursions, it is advisable to inquire about appropriate tours on site, there are certainly enough possibilities.


Based on my personal impressions and experiences, I can only recommend studying at Griffith Uni to everyone. You get to know so many people from different continents and have a lot of fun. In addition, Griffith Uni offers excellent support for its foreign guest students, which is shown by the fact that representatives of the university meet and welcome you personally at Brisbane Airport.

More tips:

  • Money: The best thing to do is to open an account at Deutsche Bank and withdraw money from the WESTPAC Bank’s Australian ATM. (no costs)
  • Sunscreen (buy sun milk only on site, is much cheaper because it is bulk goods)
  • Stock up on black bread on the outbound flight, because unfortunately that doesn’t exist in Australia.
  • It is essential to add a multi-week round trip to the semester to get to know the beauty of this huge, contrasting continent.
  • Telephoning: To Germany it is best to use VoIP (free of charge) or a telephone card

Sustainability - Griffith University